Endless summer? Warm fall forecast for all 50 states

Fall may start today, but don't put away those summer clothes just yet.

All 50 states should see a warmer-than-average fall, according to a new forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Though the entire nation should see unusually warm weather, the regions with the greatest chance of seeing above-average temperatures this autumn include northern Alaska, the Southwest and much of New England.

The forecast, released by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, covers the months of October, November and December.

NOAA's prediction for a toasty fall is primarily due to a continuation of a warm trend in place for the past few decades:

"During the past 30-35 years, there has been an underlying warm-up in the climate," said NOAA meteorologist Anthony Artusa. "Unless we can predict climate factors or drivers that can override this warm trend (such as El Niño or La Niña), it's best to go with trends."

The El Niño climate pattern,defined as warmer-than-average sea water in the tropical Pacific Ocean, is one of the main influences on weather and climate in the U.S. and around the world. It's opposite cousin, La Niña, is marked by cooler-than-normal ocean water in the same location.

The problem for forecasters now is the sea water temperature is about average, which is known as the "Neutral" phase of the overall El Niño / La Niña pattern. "With the current and predicted phase both being neutral, we have virtually no help using this important method," Artusa said. "This leaves us primarily with historical temperature and precipitation trends."

The warm summer is also a factor: Capital Weather Gang meteorologist Matthew Cappucci noted "it’s no surprise that this red-plastered map comes on the heels of an exceptionally warm summer, during which not a single state ranked below average."

Alaska was especially hot; the state saw its 2nd warmest summer on record.

Wondering about raincoats and umbrellas? NOAA's fall precipitation forecast shows a soggy fall is likely along the Southeast coast, in much of the west-central and central U.S., and most of Alaska. Only portions of Oregon and Northern California should be drier than average, according to NOAA.

Beyond temperature and rain forecasts, hurricane season officially lasts until Nov. 30, so residents along the Gulf Coast and East Coast aren't out of the woods yet.

According to the Weather Channel, four additional named storms typically develop in the Atlantic after the fall equinox, based on the 1966-2009 average. In addition, roughly one-fifth of all U.S. hurricane landfalls have occurred in October and November.

Elsewhere, wildfires can be a big issue in California in the fall. "Santa Ana winds are most common from September through March and can add to the fire danger when combined with low humidity levels or ongoing fires," the Weather Channel warned. "Wildfire danger is usually highest in the fall due to the dry vegetation as California ends its dry season."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fall forecast: Warm autumn predicted for all 50 states

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